Dear fellow bible readers,
CBR is a true life changer!I took up a new bible reading plan for 2019. I have always done this every year but I must confess how unfaithful I always get when I get to this particular book, I always pause for a while and then jump over to the next book hoping that even the Lord will understand my struggles with all those details! But I needed to write a new story this year so I challenged myself to read every verse in Leviticus however long it will take and so far so good, looking at the last chapter and admiring truly how determination can get us through the things we think we cannot go through, but above all the grace of God has been sufficient, it has not been through my own might, the Lord has sustained the process.
The book is like an outline of laws and regulations as below:
- The Five Main Offerings- ch 1-7: here are rules about the burnt offering, the grain offering, fellowship offering, sin offering, guilt offering and additional regulations for the offerings
- The Installation and Ministry of Aaron and His Sons- ch 8-10: here are details of the ordination of Aaron and his sons, the ministry of the priests and the death of Nadab and Abihu and attendant regulations
- The Distinction Between Clean and Unclean- ch 11-15: here are the details of clean and unclean food, purification after childbirth, regulations for skin diseases, regulations for mildew, cleansing from skin diseases, cleansing from mildew and discharges that cause uncleanness.
- The Annual Day of Atonement- ch 16
- Holy Living- ch 17-26: here are rules against eating blood prohibited, unlawful sexual relations, various laws of holy living, punishment for sin, regulations for priests, acceptable and unacceptable sacrifices, the annual feasts, rules for oil and bread in the tabernacle, punishment for blasphemy, the sabbath and jubilee years and covenant blessings and curses.
- Regulations for Offerings Vowed to the Lord- ch 27
Perhaps you are already tired of this details but it is amazing how the Lord speaks through His word, I have learnt two main things through this study:
- God is Holy- holiness for me seems as the central theme of this study. I now hunger for God’s Holiness more. I found myself focused on thinking about ritual purity and impurity. All the laws and regulations touch almost all aspects of my life and so it hit me:God cares about my purity in every detail, not just from a ritual perspective, but also from a moral perspective. All day long and in every aspect of life, the Lord wants me to pursue purity in my heart, in my life, in my actions. He wants me to reflect his holiness in all that I do. I have been treating holiness way too lightly! O Lord, help me to be holy!” That’s the kind of prayer I have found myself making as I soak in my Leviticus journey. This book does not present holiness in sacred places only, it presses it on all aspects: holiness should be seen in the temple and in the offering in the temple, it should be seen right at home on how we interact with each other, it should be seen in the farm, in the work place even on how humans interact with animals! We live in a culture that considers God and His word very casually. Take a look at Leviticus 10 and see how God responds to two men who did the same. “Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.”- Leviticus 10: 1-2. Nadab and Abihu had failed to exalt God as holy. They treated God casually. And I can’t help but to wonder if the church today treats God and His commands too casually. Whether we keep trying to fit in and areas that are black and white in scripture we introduce a debate about them and twist them to grey! And as John Piper writes: “We are so accustomed to grace. Like the Israelites… we need God, ask for grace,receive it, forget it, and go back smiling-despising God’s holiness without fear of his judgement.” Oh Forgive us Lord! Have we taken advantage of God’s grace? Are we so used to receiving forgiveness easily that we have treated God’s holiness casually? We love to focus on God’s mercy, grace, love and eternal life but not too much on God’s justice, wrath and eternal condemnation which are equally as real. Leviticus is reminding me that, though the application may be different than what He gave the Israelites 3000 years ago, God indeed has principles by which He desires that we live in order to have a part in His holiness. May I be found faithful!
- God is detailed!- He cares about every detail of our lives. In Leviticus chapter 11: God warned the Israelite’s about the food to eat and what not to eat. He cared for even what went into their bodies. God does not just care about our spiritual health, he is concerned about our physical health greatly and every detail of it matters to Him. He continues in Leviticus 12 to warn them to separate themselves from people who were unclean, it is not just about our spiritual health and physical health, He is concerned about relationships that are unhealthy. Do I have close toxic attachments that keep harming my mental, emotional and spiritual state? God wants me to stay away from unhealthy relations.
As I continue with my CBR I cannot help but admit how the Lord is helping me also to appreciate that details are an important part of my life, I therefore endevor to be diligent in each one of them.
My central theme and outcry has been: HOLINESS!
We therefore should “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1) and we have the matchless promise that “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7)
So help me God,